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Use Newsfeeds to Follow Discussions and Participants on Community Sites in SharePoint 2013

This is a second post on Community Sites in SharePoint 2013.

Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP and MCT authored a video tutorial on Community Sites in SharePoint 2013. In his video tutorial, which is available for unlimited viewing to any subscriber to SharePoint-Videos.com, he observes that users can follow discussions, and participants, as they engage on topics published on Community Sites by subscribing to Newsfeeds. This feature, when used along with the ranking features built into Community Sites should help teams collaborate better.

Here is an example of how these features can be used successfully by business users. A sales team is dedicated to a major account. This major account has purchased a number of products, which are used by 4 Line of Business (LoB) units as well as the central IT organization. Altogether the customer supports 5 installations of our sales team’s leading products. A separate account manager has been assigned to each of the 4 LoBs and the central IT organization.

The major account in our example is an important source of business. Management is concerned with customer satisfaction at the account and decides to collect internal information about customer service issues. Governance policy requires that Community Sites and Discussions must be created for all customer service events. Sales managers are required by the same governance policy to subscribe to all discussions and discussion participants involved with customer service events for their respective accounts.

By reviewing the historical record presented by these Newsfeeds, management very quickly develops a useful picture of the most pressing issues facing the sales team’s products for this major account. Even better, with the Badge and Rating features provided for Community Sites in SharePoint 2013, management can evaluate how well specific account managers have understood correct procedures and communicated them to the customer.

When Community Sites are introduced to teams correctly, all participants should gain a useful understanding of benefits. With a correct understanding of why it makes sense to use Community Sites for management purposes, users should quickly adopt them as a standard method of discussing issues and brainstorming solutions via the badge and ranking features of these sites.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved